The Great Debate UK
-Lord Julian Hunt is a Visiting Professor at Delft University of Technology. The opinions expressed are his own.-
In their different ways, the disruption and damage caused by the ongoing Icelandic Volcano eruption, and the major oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, have underlined how low-probability events can wreak havoc locally and across the world.
Both events underline the continuing need for well-established crisis response by international bodies. Risk assessments taking into account all the diverse scientific and social interactions should enable the public and private sector to prepare in advance.
• Although international procedures by UN bodies for dealing simultaneously with volcanic eruptions, meteorology and aviation had been agreed and tested at a technical level since the 1990s, the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano led EU Transport Ministers call for quicker and more coordinated reaction to such crisis situations.